Footwear to Prevent Slips

Slips account for about half of all slips, trips and falls on the same level. The Choosing Slip-resistant Footwear Information Sheet provides practical advice on choosing the correct slip-resistant footwear for slips, trips and falls on the same level.

Slip-resistant footwear can be an important part of Slip Risk Assessment and Prevention

Slip resistant footwear requiredSlip resistant footwear required

Slip-Resistant Footwear Reduces Slips and Falls in Food Service (12 July 2019)

For some uses, for example, work at height, ladder use, the presence of a distinct heel and outsole could be very important.

Heel and Outsole and Ladder Use

On uneven ground, ankle support may help prevent falls.

See our specific advice on Footwear for Ice, e.g. Ice grippers, such as spikes or studs, may be an effective solution on ice

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Over three years, 70% of 5,871 HSA workplace visits found that slip-resistant footwear was merited

In 2013, 67% of 1,471 HSA workplace visits found that the risk assessment identified the need for slip-resistant footwear

A slip on the level at work has three key factors

Slip factors

The slippery surface and the foreseeable contamination must be considered when choosing slip-resistant footwear

Information Provided with Footwear

The HSE, HSL Assessment of slips safety information/ literature provided by flooring and footwear suppliers (2009) in the UK found 

  • No indication of slip resistance was given for 47% of footwear products
  • Footwear suppliers use a variety of terms to describe their products, e.g. ‘slip-resistant’, ‘anti-slip’, ‘improving grip performance’ etc, and these can often mislead customers
  • “… many manufacturers and suppliers do not give helpful additional information, such as the degree of slip resistance and the types of work environment for which their products are most suited
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HSA Inspectors found that 15 (68%) of 22 pieces of footwear made some slip-resistance claim, but

  • 73% of footwear with a slip-resistance claim had no information on appropriate/ inappropriate environments

Case Studies

HSL UK advise about

  • a peripatetic workforce that went from 70 to 1 lost time accident after a footwear trial
  • an abattoir that reduced slips costs from £207,800 to £136,000 over three years by “clear” floor specifications, “matched” footwear, monitoring and removal of chequerplate
  • a sausage factory that reduced slip costs from £2,500 to £300 per month by changing cleaning, footwear and the system of work
  • a pet food factory that reduced slips saving £12,000 following a six-month footwear trial and new footwear for all staff
  • local authority kitchens that had a big reduction in accidents following the introduction of slip-resistant overshoes for all

See Slip Resistant Footwear Further Information